Real Action’s founder, Roger Diamond, is a social entrepreneur, a musician, a community activist – and a former freelance performing arts journalist, playwright, and youth and community worker. At the age of just 14 he started his own discounted sales business, which he ran mainly from a spare office in a barber shop in Tottenham. As a teenager he performed in the Merry Makers Steel-band and then with reggae singer ‘Honey Boy’. After forming a youth R&B band with Jean Paul Maunick (leader of popular fusion band Incognito) he founded two British reggae bands, one in Tottenham, and the other in Hackney, which went on to get a number of top ten hits in the British pop charts.

Roger also founded and ran The 18th Brocade Performing Arts project in Tottenham from 1978 to 1987 where he taught music and drama to teenagers, and organised theatrical events and musicals. He founded and managed the teenage youth-reggae-band, The Black Diamonds, which performed in summer projects at most of Haringey’s primary schools. The group eventually toured the UK with the world-famous Mighty Diamonds from Jamaica. Roger currently performs part-time as an organist and pianist specialising in ballads and improvisation.

Roger has served on the boards of various council bodies, including Haringey Community Relations Council and Haringey Arts Council. He is currently a school governor. He founded the educational charity Real Action in 1996. In 1995, Mozart (council housing) Estate was subject to major regeneration. Roger, then a member of the Tenants’ Association, helped to found the Mozart Block Reps, and instigated the introduction of security guards to patrol the then-crime-ridden estate. It was the teenage gang leaders’ revelation to the security guards that they wanted help with literacy and maths that prompted Roger to seek a solution. With the help of Katie Ivens, and Butterfly literacy expert, Irina Tyk, the pilot Butterfly Summer Reading School on the Mozart Estate took place in summer 1995. Nine months later eleven local community members responded to Roger’s call to form the Founding Committee of Real Action. He helped to run the charity, as its Founder Chairman, for many years. Roger is currently Company Secretary and Founder Director. He supports Real Action with general management and governance. He also helps by organising events, relationship building, marketing, developing the website and producing the newsletter. Roger has been an active school governor at Queens Park Primary School in West London since 2014.

In 2016 Roger became a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts.